5 Apr 2008 olecom   » (Observer)

Newsgroups: gmane.comp.hardware.open-hardware.ethervideo
From: Oleg Verych <!gmane?olecom.ENOMSG@flower.upol.cz>
Subject: Back to text and graphic terminals.
Organization: Palacky University in Olomouc, experimental
physics department.
Mail-Copies-To: never
User-Agent: slrn + jed (x86_64-pc-linux-glibc-debian)
Keywords: text-mode, graphics, video, ethernet

Hallo. I'd like to ask about a graphical device set for simple
PC usage (tell me, please, if this place is wrong).

My PC is a laptop 95% of the time for nearly 3 years.

pure text mode (Linux):
 * gmane news reading, all those mailing lists one place (slrn)
 * programming (emacs)
 * web browsing (lynx)
 * watching video

graphic mode (MS Windows mostly, because X sucks):
 * pictures
 * pdf (while partially i can screen it by `pdf2text` + some
 * djvu (so many books appeared)
 * web browser (with lot more useless traffic, flash  and

In the text-mode i realized, that it can be much more
interesting and productive:

 * more colors
 * more char. attributes
 * character "shaders" (hardware and software)
 * hardware windowing system with enough memory

Framebuffer text console in Linux is known to be very slow and unpleasant. Text terminal emulator in Linux and in X11 as well are just deep in 70s, but with transparency. Particular in Linux kernel vt102-like emulator wasn't developed or optimized for quite some time.

I believe, i have latency problems (music playing) when i page or output text in ssh remote console (i.e. network can send so much text quickly to process byte by byte in kernel's terminal emulator, that kernel gets unresponsive).

Software compatibility and legacy aside, proprietary UNIX zoo is dead, open source is yet to see something like Turbo Vision kind of look and feel.

So, i'd like to see a device (or set) with features:

* text terminal-like interface in text mode, i.e. stream of characters to the graphics hardware, but improved and with windowing system support

* framebuffer (graphics: dynamic video, static pictures) is switched on only on demand (saving power, less EMI noise).

* text/graphic processor/uC + small OS (text windowing, buffering, smart to do stupid job, etc.) is inside of display.

* interface to PC is Ethernet (or equivalent).

Thanks for you attention.

sed 'sed && sh + olecom = love' << ''
 #oo'L O
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